It's actually pretty simple. If you want to be healthy and alive, you have to get foods with a life of their own into your body. So the following rules for the journey towards health and a vibrant life are very logical. We will begin on a positive note, with a list of only the DO's.
1. Select the freshest foods you can find! As food sits for long periods of time it becomes:
2. Focus on fresh vegetables and fruits, and raw untoasted, unroasted grains and cereals.
- stale with poor flavor, texture and appearance,
- rancid if it contains oils (grains, nuts, seeds),
- depleted of nutrients which are destroyed by exposure to oxygen in the air.
3. Look for reliable sources, either within your area, or by mail order, for organic produce and grains, and use these as much as possible in your daily menus. Seek out the local or closest farmers' market and shop there for produce.
4. Use the simplest, shortest cooking methods possible when preparing your food in order to insure optimum retention of nutrients. In other words, steam vegetables only to the point of el dente, grill fish and chicken until just done, steam rice or grains until tender and then remove from heat immediately. Gently simmer on low heat versus rapidly boiling on a high heat.
5. Aim to eat at least 50% of your vegetables and fruits in their raw form. This preserves the vitamins, minerals and active enzymes, which may be destroyed by heat and water during the cooking process. Your body requires a full profile of all of these nutrients, which work together, when in proper balance, to create the potential for every metabolic function within the body to take place.
6. Eat the skins of your produce items (fruits and vegetables) whenever possible. Many of the essential nutrients are right under the skin.
7. Choose whole vegetables and fruits over their juices. The fiber which is discarded in the production of the juice is very high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (plant chemicals), all of which are essential in the prevention of disease and illness. The juice contains only a portion of what is available in the whole food!
8. Season foods with natural condiments, such as fresh herbs, fresh garlic, onions, lemon or lime juice, peppers, organic and ethnic vinegars, vegetable flakes and powders, and spices.
9. Include a wide variety of foods in your diet. This insures a better balance of essential nutrients. What one food lacks, another contains!
10. Reduce your intake of fats, especially saturated fats. These include fats from dairy products and most animal protein sources, other than fish and seafood.
11. Use methods of cooking which do not require the addition of fats, or substitute the fats with vegetable broth, water, or fresh lemon juice.
12. Include small amounts of fats in your diet which are from plant oil sources, focusing on pure virgin olive oil, canola oil and sesame oil. Use them uncooked, in dressings, for salads and steamed vegetables.
13. Steer clear of any fats which are of a trans-fatty acid nature, or which incorporate hydrogenation in the processing. These include:
- the wide array of margarines
- salad dressings
- most commercial nut butters (eg. peanut butter)
- roasted nuts and seeds
- packaged and frozen baked goods, cookies, crackers
- snack foods and snack bars
- canned, packaged and frozen entree items
- powdered, canned, refrigerated or frozen coffee whiteners
- powdered flavored coffee mixes
- non-diary creams and dessert toppings